Mowinckel lecture 2021: The mysteries of the Ark of the Covenant

The lecture will focus on the importance of the Ark (of God, of Yhwh, of the Covenant) in the Hebrew Bible and more specifically on the so-called Ark narrative in the books of Samuel.

Image may contain: White-collar worker, Businessperson, Elder.
Professor Thomas Römer. Photo

What was the purpose of the Ark, what did it originally contain?

If the original Ark narrative ended with the transfer of the Ark to Kiriath Jearim in 1 Sam 7:1 as will be argued, what is the importance of this site?

The lecture will then bring into conversation exegetical observations and the results of the excavations at Kiriath Jearim from 2017 and 2019, organized by the University of Tel Aviv and the Collège de France. The lecture will conclude with the question of the fate of the Ark after the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem in 587 BCE.


About Professor Thomas Römer

Thomas Römer (1955), is Professor at the College de France (chaire des milieux bibliques) since 2007, and since 2019 its President. He was ordinary professor at the University of Lausanne since 1993 where he has served as Dean at the Faculty of Theology and Sciences of Religions. He is member of several Editorial Committees  and chief editor Ancient Israel and Its Literature.

Selected Publications:

  • Dieu obscur (Geneva 1998; 20093).
  • ET: Dark God. Cruelty, Sex, and Violence in the Old Testament (New York, 2012).
  • The So-Called Deuteronomistic History (London – New York 2005)
  • L’invention de Dieu (Paris 2014; 20173).
  • ET : The Invention of God (London –  Cambridge, MA 2015).

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Published Aug. 23, 2021 1:35 PM - Last modified Mar. 23, 2022 10:41 AM